Kentucky Law Blog

Mark’s Notes on Legal Topics of Interest

The numbers on motorcycle accidents are startling

Summer months mean more motorcycles on the road. All motorists should watch for them, and motorcyclists should drive defensively. These statistics from, which provides online tools for comparing insurance companies, reveal how much more risk motorcyclists are at when accidents occur.

High rates of serious injuries – A whopping 45% of motorcycle accidents result in more than a minor injury.

Beware of intersections – Four in 10 motorcycle crashes occur at intersections.

Others often are at fault – Nearly seven in 10 motorcycle accidents (67%) occur because another driver violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. These crashes often involve at-fault drivers who turn left into a motorcyclist’s path. The bumper sticker message “start seeing motorcycles” is an important admonition.

Increased fatalities – Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in an accident than those in a car.

Unproportionate fatality rate – Motorcyclists account for 3% of all registered motor vehicles, yet they account for 14% of annual traffic-related deaths.

Helmets help – Recent reports state that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and reduce the risk of death by almost 50%. Not surprisingly, motorcyclists in states with a mandatory helmet law are significantly more likely to wear a helmet than in those states without a universal law. In Kentucky, motorcyclists under 21 must wear a helmet, as well as those who have held a motorcycle operator’s license for less than a year and people who have only a motorcycle instruction permit.

Causes of collisions – More than 3 in 10 motorcycle accidents involve only the motorcycle itself, which is higher than single-vehicle accident rates for other drivers. Speeding is a factor in almost 32% of fatal motorcycle accidents, while roadway defects account for 2% of bike accidents.

Know your rights following a motorcycle accident
Because motorcycle accidents result in a higher percentage of both serious injuries and deaths, it is important to work with a knowledgeable injury lawyer following a motorcycle accident to ensure that you recover the maximum amount possible.